This was my March

March was a month of contrasts, a couple of hot days followed by a bit of rain and then Cyclone Debbie came along. I was fortunate not to be in the path of Debbie but on the edge of the system. I missed the strong winds and abundant rainfall. I still managed to have 476mls of rain for March. This rainfall ended the long dry period over Summer when usually the rains come. The total rainfall for March exceeded the total rainfall for the 6 months prior.

The few dry day did allow for some wandering about and finding some interesting stuff. The weather also bought out a good variety of fungi which have their own blog.

So onward to the stuff of March.

Isn’t this little boat the cutest?

boat_named_grafton_march 2017

The flood waters made the creeks run and the creek at Emerald Beach broke through the sand and flowed to the sea. The strong tannin coloured water gave the rocks an interesting hue.

rocks_tannin water_named_emerald beach_march 2017

Rust. As you know I love rust, the colours and textures rust gives to metal.

rust01_named_grafton_march 2017

More rust on the fence around the riverbank park in Grafton.

rust02_named_grafton_march 2017

In Lismore, wandering the back lanes I came across this furnace door that is still in operation at the rear of a cafe.

furnace door_named_lismore_march 2017

One of the treasures of Lismore is the street art in the back lanes. The recent flooding of Lismore didn’t damage most of the art works although some may need a bit of a clean and touch up. The following selection is from just one lane way.

The art on the door is perhaps a portend.

graffiti_doorway_lismore_named_march 2017

The fish managed to swim out the flood waters I am told.

graffiti_fish_lismore_named_march 2017

I love this ghostly face.

graffiti_face_lismore_named_march 2017

How clever.

graffiti_shoes_lismore_named_march 2017

The butterflies in the rainforest.

graffiti_butterflies_lismore_named_march 2017

Speaking of butterflies, I just love photographing butterflies. Of course many a while is spent chasing them around trying to get THAT capture. The Common Yellow butterfly seemed to enjoy time on the ground.

yellow meadow butterfly_named_home_march 2017

The Small Green-banded Blue butterfly kept trying to hide from me.

small green banded blue butterfly_named_home_march 2017

I haven’t had such a variety of flies at my place or perhaps I haven’t really taken a close look at them. The yellow face and bottle green body look great.

fly_yellow face_named_home_march 2017

The green eyes are striking. The long proboscis also lets this fly give you a very sharp sting.

fly_named_home_march 2017

This beautiful Huntsman spider lived in my house for around two months. She has now gone outside I think as I haven’t seen her for a couple of days. Her leg span from front to back or side to side is 16cm. Her body length is 5cm. How big is your hand?

huntsman_named_home_march 2017

The Fire-wheel trees are flowering.

fire wheel tree flower_named_grafton_march 2017

I have a number of Golden Lycras that my aged neighbour loved. He gave me lots of corms and this year they flowered the best ever. They gave me lovely memories of him. The view from the top.

golden lycras_above_named_home_march 2017

They looked so lovely in the morning sun.

golden lycras_named_binna burra_march 2017

This Hibiscus was in my parents place and the cutting has lived on at my place filled with abundant flowers this Autumn.

 

hybiscus_red_named_home_march 2017

The miniature Hibiscus adds small red spots in the garden

hybiscus_miniture red_named_home_march 2017

One of the original Hibiscus. This one is in my besties garden. Such a delicate flower. The petals almost look transparent.

white flower_named_binna burra_march 2017

Another tiny native flower that I have found around my property.  The flower is about 12mm across so imagine the size of the insect that was getting some nectar or pollen.

purple flower_named_home_march 2017

The Bromiliads had a good flowering this March. They gathered enough water that’s for sure.

bromilliad flower_named_home_march 2017

I hadn’t seen white Crocus before. Stunning flowers aren’t they?

white crocus_named_emerald beach_march 2017

I have loved the colours of Coleus since I first saw them in my grandfathers garden.

coleus_named_binna burra_march 2017

 

The rain has revived the Lichen.

lichen_named_home_march 2017

Wandering around the garden looking for snacks, the Bar-shouldered Dove and Emerald Dove shared the space.

emerald dove_peaceful dove_named_binna burra_march 2017

A little Jacky Winter enjoying the morning sun.

jackie winter_named_home_march 2017

The Brown Pigeon sat in the Poinsettia striking a lovely pose.

brown pigeon_named_binna burra_march 2017

Not the best angle for a Blue-faced Honeyeater though.

blue faced honeyeater_named_home_march 2017

The little Forest Kingfisher sat in the tree looking about then suddenly plunged to the ground. When he resumed his perch, he did the bash bash on the branch to tenderise his snack. It looks like he managed to find a frog in the garden.

forest kingfisher_frog_named_home_march 2017

The Forest Kingfisher has beautiful colours don’t you think?

forest kingfisher_close_named_home_march 2017

Thanks for taking the time to have a look at my March.

Thursday’s Special – Illusion

It is a rainy day here due to Cyclone Debbie, luckily I am on the edge and only have rain and not the destructive winds so far.

Inspired by Paula’s Thursday’s Special Challenge Illusions, I grabbed my camera, changed some settings and took the following photos, two from the verandah and the other my hallway.

The shed which used to be my daughters play house I built year ago.

170330_illusion_shed

The garden seat

170330_illusion_garden seat

My decorations in the hallway

170330_illusion_hallway

I certainly had fun on a rainy day

jupiter najnajnoviji

The Things of January

THE HOT SUMMERS DAYS are here and the lack of consistent rainfall has sapped my energy causing me to be indoors more often than out in the biting rays of the Sun.

However I did get out and about and went to the Bangalow Markets hoping for some photographic inspiration. There was a bit of action but on the whole my mojo wasn’t there.

The colours did grab my attention.

bangalow-market_named_bangalow_jan-2017

In some part of my besties garden, the flowers are always around. There is more rainfall and cooler weather there. I was taken by the red flower buds getting ready to burst forth.

red-flower_changed

Back in my garden the storms gave relief to the plants with a Murraya sending out its perfumed blossoms.

murraya-flower_named_home_jan-2017

I love the Hibiscus schizopetalus. The flowers hang down from the long stems and dance in the breeze.

hibiscus-schizopetalus_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

The small amounts of rain and a bit of hot weather has made a fungi or two pop out of the soil. This one was the biggest I have seen for a long while. I didn’t know what to use to show its size but a brick came in handy

mushroom_named_home_jan-2017

It looked just as amazing from beneath as well.

mushroom-under_named_home_jan-2017

 

It may be Summer but the Teak Tree has decided that it is time to lose its leaves making the garden have a temporary Autumn feel.

teak-leaves-ground_named_home_jan-2017

Summer time and the wasps are constructing their nests from chewed wood giving them a papery look, hence the name Paper Wasps. Unfortunately these are under the gutter at my besties and will have to go. When I had a bloke doing some building work at my place, he managed to disturb a nest and was stung on his ear and back. They chased him as he ran away from the nest. Paper Wasps in the bush are OK but around the house they have to move on.

wasps_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

Even though it is hot, early morning and late in the day, the butterflies are about. I think this is a Skipper whose wings have seen better days.

butterfly_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

The Caper Whites are still around but no where near the numbers of late Spring.

caper-white_named_home_jan-2017

Here is a large horse fly Triclista singularis’ These fly slowly with a loud buzzing and we gave them the nickname of B52s. When they do land and bite you really know it. This is the biggest fly around my place, around 25mm. It is rather pretty for a fly.

triclista-singularis-horse-fly06_named_home_jan-2017

I noticed movement in the kitchen on a potted begonia  I found a Praying Mantis. He hung around the kitchen for a few days before going outside. Fearsome looking but quite friendly.

praying-mantis01_named_home_jan-2017

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater looked pleased with itself as it puffed out its chest.

yellow-faced-honeyeater_named_home_jan-2017

The constant calls of the Bar-shouldered Dove ring around the garden as they sit high among the trees.

bar-shouldered-dove01_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

They have a pink ring around their eyes which I hadn’t noticed before.

bar-shouldered-dove02_close_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

I love the feather patterns on the Little Wattlebird

little-wattlebird_named_binna-burra_jan-2017

There is a queue at the bird bath waiting for their turn.

rainbow-lorikeets-waiting_named_home_jan-2017

A return visitor to the garden is a lovely little Forest Kingfisher. The orange spots stand out as does the wonderful white chest.

forest-kingfisher_front_named_home_jan-2017

He was so obliging to turn around to show the striking blue feathers. When flying about the garden the flashes of blue catch the eye.

forest-kingfisher_named_home_jan-2017

I hope the hot weather soon abates and February brings more things for me to share with you.

The Fast Joey Hops Around

One morning, a Red-necked Wallaby  Joey and his Mum were enjoying the garden. When all of a sudden the Joey decided it was time to climb out of Mum’s pouch and test out his hopping skills to see how fast he could get around the garden.

“Hey Mum, I think I might go for a very fast hop over there.”

joey07_fast_named_home_jan-2017

“I better check out what’s around just in case.”

joey04_fast_named_home_jan-2017

“Maybe I’ll hop over that way”

joey02_fast_named_home_jan-2017

“No…..I’m going to hop really fast this way”
“Mum…..Mum….watch me go Mum”

joey01_fast_named_home_jan-2017

“Watch out for your tail Mum ‘cos here I come.”

 

joey06_fast_named_home_jan-2017

And like a rocket, the Joey came hurtling back to Mum.

joey03_fast_named_home_jan-2017

“Hey Mum, that was fun!”
“Yes dear, you really can hop fast.”

joey05_fast_named_home_jan-2017

Goodbye 2016….

The last photos of December 2016 are nearly all birds. The weather was still hot and the bird baths proved to be a winner with all the birds who are staying around here. The cool of the forest also helps. The birds come into the garden from the forest in the cool of the morning and in the cool of the evening.

Sometimes you just have to fully immerse to get the benefits of cool water. I think this was a female Scarlet Honeyeater diving in deep into the very popular hanging pot.

scarlet-honeyeater_splash_named_home_dec-2016

This bloke was thinking about the bird bath and whether it was worth going in.

bird_named_home_dec-2016

The Brown Honeyeater contemplates his dive into the bird bath.

brown-honeyeater_named_home_dec-2016

And in he goes. What a splash for a small bird.

brown-honeyeater_splash_named_home_dec-2016

Not to be outdone, the tiny Striated Thornbill took the plunge and created a big splash.

striated-thornbill_splash_named_home_dec-2016

The group shot of the Striated Thornbills after their bath. One of my cutest photos ever don’t you think?

striated-thornbills01_named_home_dec-2016

On a hot day everyone arrives to get a drink. It’s heads down, bums up for the Rainbow Lorikeets.

rainbow-lorikeets_bird-bath-bums_named_home_dec-2016

The Rainbow Lorikeets are a noisy lot, always having something to say, even if a mate lands on your branch.

rainbow-lorikeets_named_home_dec-2016

The Grey-crowned Babbler seems to defy gravity as it hopped up the Tallowwood.

grey-crowned-babble_side-tree_named_home_dec-2016

Once the Grey-crowned Babblers found a good spot to get a feed, the project started. There is always someone ready to give a hand.

grey-crowned-babblers02_project_named_home_dec2016

They almost have a large piece of bark ripped from the tree.

grey-crowned-babblers01_project_named_home_dec2016

Every morning I am woken to the beautiful song of a Rufous Whistler. As I walked around the garden watering those plants who were in need the most, the Whistler seemed to follow me.

rufous-whistler_named_home_dec-2016

I bought a Hydrangea last year and have kept it in a pot on the verandah. In December I was rewarded with a beautiful pink flower. You can just see the flower of a White Hydrangea which I bought this year with flowers already on the small bush.

hydranga_pink_named_home_dec-2016

That is the last of 2016. Now to start to sort the first photos of 2017. Happy New Year everyone.

Birds, Bugs, Butterflies and Flowers

Another hot day has made me think it will be better being inside rather than the baking sun out there. At the moment there is thunder rumbling about. But that happened last night and didn’t result in rain. I hope this lot will as it is dry as anything here.

This is the third year of lower than average rainfall. There has been enough to keep the water tanks topped up but the dams are either empty or very low. The main dam I use for watering the house gardens is about one third full so it is rationing the water to the plants in pots first and then the new plantings (planted in the hope of rain).

From there I feel like the bad parent and water the plants that look like they need water more and the others are left to fend for themselves. Most are OK and I have only lost one or two plants although they may surprise and send out shoots when the rains come.

I am always putting water into the bird baths which is appreciated by the birds who come to my garden for a drink. The hanging pot is usually a favourite for the small birds. Once when I was watering the plants, a White-throated Honeyeater sat in a branch near the hanging pot and almost seemed to say “How about you top up the hanging pot so we can get a drink.” After putting some water into the pot, about 4 or 5 of its mates went to the pot for a drink.

Sometimes a bigger bird will also like to have a drink like this Little Friarbird.

little-friarbird_named_home_dec-2016

The hanging pot is the best place to get a drink. The female Scarlet Honeyeaters are regular visitors.

scarlet-honeyeater_female02_named_home_dec-2016

The male Scarlet Honeyeaters seem to get on when there’s a drink involved.

scarlet-honeyeater_males02_named_home_dec-2016

This young one waited until everyone else had gone before venturing in for a drink.

scarlet-honeyeater_female_named_home_nov-2016

Another place to get a drink is an old wheelbarrow which collects water from the car port roof when it rains. Some of the birds love it as it is in shade in the afternoon. You may have seen previous photos of the Spangled Drongos and Friarbirds over there.  This time the Lewins Honyeater and the White-throated Honeyeater had a bit of a squabble about who should drink and bathe in the wheelbarrow bird bath.

yellow-faced-white-throated-honeyeaters_barrow-bath_named_home_dec-2016

In early December the lovely Satin Flycatchers drop in for a few days.

satin-flycatcher_named_home_dec-2016

The Square-tailed Kites are often harassed by the nearby nesting Friarbirds when they take off from their nest to go and get food for the young ones. I haven’t been able to see the young ones yet but both parents have been busting getting food and coming back to the nest. This Friarbird got very up close and personal.

square-tailed-kite_friarbird01_named_home_nov-2016

But eventually the Kite wheeled around and headed off on its mission.

square-tailed-kite_friarbird_named_home_nov-2016

Soon it was circling around getting higher and higher showing its wonderful wing feathers.

square-tailed-kite01_named_home_nov-2016

Meanwhile, back at my besties bird bath the normally sleek looking Red-browed Finch was looking rather ruffled.

red-browed-finch_birdbath_named_binna-burra_dec-2016

The sounds of Summer in Australia are the Cicadas. There are Cicada shells on most tree trunks or posts and like this one, under the leaf of a Frangipanni.

cicada_named_home_dec-2016

The Dragonflies are constantly  zipping about the garden. This dragonfly seemed to really like the stick and sat there for quite a while.

dragonfly_named_home_oct-2016

Everyday there is the buzz of the Blue-banded Bees as the source out the meager flower offerings in the garden.

blue-banded-bee_named_home_dec-2016

A new visitor to the garden at the end of November was the Common Albatross Butterfly. There was only 1 or 2, nowhere as many as the Caper Whites.

common-albatross_named_home_-nov-2016

I have fallen in love with photographing the Caper White Butterflies as they feed on the Pentas. Knowing they will soon be gone, I have been getting some nice photographs while I can.

caper-white-butterfly01_named_home_nov-2016

In this close-up, you can almost see the scales on the wings.

caper-white-butterfly02_named_home_nov-2016

I saw a Painted lady on the road as I walked down the drive to the house and suddenly she flew up and disappeared. It took a while to find where she had taken refuge in the rough bark of the Red Ironbark.

painted-lady-butterfly_tree_named_home_nov-2016

Even butterflies have to do it. These little Lineblue Butterflies even flew about the garden locked together.

lineblue-butterflies_mating_named_home_dec-2016

Perhaps because it has been so dry, the Agapanthus bloomed so well this year. Spots of blues and whites are dotting the garden.

agapanthus_named_home_dec-2016

The Frangipannis are just starting to bloom so  this year I am going to take notice of the colours I have planted in the garden.

frangipani-flower_named_home_dec-2016

The shed down the back has these frosted glass casement window I bought when I first moved onto the bush block. They were used in the first shed/house I built and now are in another shed that is underway. As I walked about the garden, it seemed as though someone was watching me. I saw this “face” in the window.

looking-out-of-the-window_named_home_nov-2016

Remember the last blog. I said I was going to try and get a photo of the verandah skinks face. Well he sat long enough in the morning sunshine for me to get a photo. Always try to deliver lol.

garden-skink_named_home_nov-2016

 

Birds. Bugs, Flowers and Things

I love it when I have a mixed lot of photos I have taken. This blog does contain a lot of birds and things that have been previously in past blogs but they keep doing things that are different or I just like the photo and hope you do too. There is one photo that has something different from the usual photos, can you spot it?

The weather over winter and early spring has been dry with some hot days and some windy days. Since 1 August to end of October there only a couple of days where there was good rainfall, but only 14 days of rain over 3 months. Some of the flowering plants have enjoyed the dry. This year the bottlebrushes and paperbarks have had the best flowering ever.

One of the things I like to photograph is when I can see faces in things. These are a couple I have seen lately. Can you see the faces too? The first on was taken at the beach during a walk after a North Coast Landcare get together.

Can you see a dog?

dog-rock_named_coffs-harbour_oct-2016

Sometimes the faces can seem rather scary. I had a feeling that someone was watching me.

tree-face_named_-sept-2016

The Red-necked Wallabies have had a bumper Joey season this year, so it may indicate that the grass in the paddocks will soon turn green and there will be a good summer. These two were eating beside the veranda where there are patches of feed. The Joey may be too big for the pouch but still likes to get a drink from Mum.

red-necked-wallabies_named_home_oct-2016

One plant that has had a fabulous flowering this year has been the Native Frangipanni. The birds and insects are always around the tree in the early morning and late evening.

native-frangapanni_named_home_oct-2016

My besties garden always has flowers as the rainfall there is much better than at my place. I love the way that this flower seems to explode towards you.

flower_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

The colours of this small flower are stunning adding a splash of colour throughout the garden.

flower02_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

My hanging pot of bromeliads have never had so many of these striking red flowers. I counted six flowers around the hanging pot. Yes that is a bird’s nest I found on the ground and was placed in the pot.

bromiliad-red-flowers_named_home_oct-2016

I wanted a few flowers around and planted some Alyssum seeds and they all came up giving cascades of white flowers from the many pots they were planted in. There were bees and this Hover Fly (I think) buzzing around. What a golden coloured fly!!!

hover-fly_named_home_oct-2106

Other visitors to the Alyssum flowers were small butterflies. I managed to get a photo of the Ochre Butterfly before is zoomed off to another flower in the garden.

ochre_named_home_oct-2016

You can see how dry the ground was when I took a photo of a Meadow Argus. They prefer to land on the ground. The underside of their wings seem fluffy and dull…..

meadow-argus02_named_home_oct-2016

….but the inside wings are very colourful.

meadow-argus03_named_home_oct-2016

In late October the Caper White Butterflies started to fly through my place on their migration to SE Queensland. They have been constantly been in the garden since then. The Pentas is a great butterfly attracting bush.

caper-white-butterfly05_named_home_oct-2016

While walking around Grafton we spied some bee activity around a large Camphor Laurel. I am glad they were too busy to notice me trying to get some photos. When we went back a couple of weeks later there weren’t many bees around at all. Sadly I suspect the Council may have sprayed the nest.

bee-hive_named_grafton_oct-2016

The coming of warm days brings out the insects. There are a good number of varieties of flys at the moment. This brown fly spent some time walking around the rim of the jug on the window sill.

fly_named_home_oct-2016

While this insect preferred the window to walk about.

insect_named_home_sept-2016

The garden also has its share of insects and bugs. I love the colours on this beetle, don’t you?.

insect_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

The Dragonflies are swooping around the garden and the dams. This is the blue variety. I  think will do a blog just on Dragonflies as I have some other varieties.

dragonfly_named_home_oct-2016

I just had to include another White-throated Honeyeater and the hanging watering come small bird birdbath pot. He looks to be saying “Ok mate, where’s my water!!!”

white-throated-honeyeater_named_home_oct-2016

On the walk along the beach I spotted some birds sitting on some rock off the shore. The Pied Cormorants were doing their washing.

cormorants_named_coffs-harbour_oct-2016

Here is bird number 91 I have identified on my place. (I say “I” but has been a team effort from lots of people in my network.) The Common Bronzewing was just strolling along but I managed to get a not very good photo.

common-bronzewing_named_home_oct-2016

Back at the beach walk, on the way down to the beach through the dune I saw a New Holland Honeyeater gathering material for the nest.I’m sure the spider didn’t mind a bit of web taken.

new-holland-honeyeater_named_coffs-harbour_oct-2016

Isn’t it funny how birds can have their heads looking back. The Brown Pigeon was certainly keeping an eye on me.

brown-oigeon_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

Amongst the vegetation, chit chatting away the Eastern Whipbird foraged for insects. Their distinctive whip crack call (from You Tube by Linda Hansbauer) many people know but when they are on the ground bustling about the have an insane cackle going on.

eastern-whip-bird_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

The most elusive bird at my besties is the Green Catbird and I am always excited when I find a Catbird amongst the foliage.

cat-bird_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

In Spring, the Figbirds arrive at my place. Late one afternoon I found this pair cosying up for the night among the branches of the fig tree.

figbirds_named_home_oct-2016

Of course you have seen lots of Blue-faced Honeyeaters on the Honey Gem Grevillea in my previous blogs but the way they can have a snack upside down always fascinates me.

blue-faced-honeyeater_named_home_oct-2016

The Yellow-faced Honeyeater is contemplating the first flower on a Grevillea I planted a few years ago. I will have to try to find out the name of this Grevillea.

yellow-faced-honeyeater_named_home_oct-2016

The Tawny Frogmouth (or it may be a Marbled Frogmouth) has the most basic of nests. Just a few twigs thrown onto a flattish spot in a tree. This bird hatched two babies.

tawny-frogmouth_named_binna-burra_oct-2016

Late in the evening, a walk along the shore at Ballina saw many pelicans coming in to roost. First stopping on the light post to make sure the fishermen weren’t cleaning their catch. It’s almost time to go….

pelican_named_ballina_sept-2016

…..the moon is up casting a glow so I must be off. See you next time.

moon_named_oct-2016

New and Old – Big and Small

What a mixed bag of photos I have this time. I just grabbed some photos from the end of last month that I liked which weren’t put in the previous blog. I am slowly catching up. I would like to write more but am not feeling well, just a sinus thing but my concentration isn’t that good.

At the moment, the Red-necked Wallabies are hopping through the garden and the bush, some with small Joeys and others with a protective male. This bloke kept a close eye on me as I walked around.

red-necked-wallabies_named_home_sept-2016

One thing I have been meaning to do is put a whole lot of photos showing the symmetry in nature or just how plants have their unique way of growing. Succulents are fascinating in the many forms, shapes and colours they have. Here is just a couple I have found recently.

succulant01named_binna-burra_sept-2016

The tight centre gradually spreads and becomes redder on the margins with some leaves turning almost completely red.

succulant02_named_binna-burra_sept-2016

The Jelly Bean Cactus has to be one of my favourites. Do you have a favourite cactus?

jelly-bean-succulant_named_binna-burra_sept-2016

This is the first flower of a Grevillea I planted last year, fascinating flowers aren’t they?

grevillea_named_home_sept-2016

I call this flower a Chinese Lantern. This year the plant had so many flowers, much more than any year previously. You can see the 3 different stages with the pod to the right of the flower and the next new flower about to open behind.

chinese-lantern_named_home_sept-2016

Another plant who has had the best show of flowers ever is the Orange Trumpet. Yes I did plant it to grow over a shed.

orange-trumpet-creeper_named_home_sept-2016

When the bush lemon tree flowered, the insect came so there was always someone buzzing around the tree, crawling over the flowers or getting inside the flowers being productive. I don’t think the Stingless Native Bees could fit much more pollen in their pollen sacks.

native-bees01_named_home_sept-2016

Even the other bees had heaps of pollen as well.

bee_named_home_sept-2016

This ant was very careful when it moved over the flowers.

ant_named_home_sept-2016

I have never seen this fly before. A lovely orange with the reddest eyes!!!!

fly_named_home_sept-2016

Every now and then I find a native snail-shell. Occasionally see a snail but not one of these. I still haven’t identified which species of snail it is.

snail-shell_home_sept-2016

One afternoon, the Spangled Drongos came in for a bath. The bath certainly makes a spangly Spangled Drongo!!!

spangled-drongo_named_home_sept-2016

On a wetland right beside the Pacific Highway, a flock of Magpie Geese stopped over on their migration to rest and recharge. It was hard to get into a good position to get some photos as the shoulder of the Highway is very narrow there and I didn’t want to walk into the farmers over grown paddock either.

magpie-geese_named_south-grafton_sept-2016

A new addition to the neighbourhood has been circling overhead. The Square-tailed Kite also has decided to make a nest in a tree across the road. I didn’t see any babies and I think I may have missed them all together..

square-tailed-kite_flying_named_home_sept-2016

The late afternoon light was good for a photo shoot.

square-tailed-kite_named_home_sept-2016

Another new comer to my garden was the Spectacled Monarch making number bird number 89 spotted or heard on my property.

spectacled-monarch_named_home_sept-2016

Meanwhile, at my besties place, the Noisy Friarbird was turning itself inside out trying to get the Noisy Miner to get away from the bird bath

friarbird_noisy-miner_named_binna-burra_sept-2016

Spring brings life

Spring has begun and is almost over so I better get going and post some of my world in spring so far. There has been a lot happening, too many photos to sort through and making time to write, sort, edit and get it out!!!!

My old friend a few properties down the street is no longer able to care for himself and has gone into a care facility. His garden has been a source of inspiration and his help has made my garden a better place. He was always coming with bulbs, seeds or cuttings some of which have survived the dry periods and some just reappear much to my amazement.

This Iris was one of the first things I saw as I visited him before he left. A stunning splash of purple.

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Of course it attracted the native stingless bees

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The Grevilleas begin to bud at the start of spring. They don’t look as spectacular as the flowers but have a certain furry interest……

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….and then they bloom into the most fantastic flower displaying many hues and colours.

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The Honey Gem attracts so many birds to my garden but when you look closely you find some of the smaller creatures in my garden.

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Throughout the bush around my place, the yellows and oranges of the Jacksonias splash colour into the bush.

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I love the tiny native flowers that appear throughout the bush. This tiny yellow flower is about 10mm in diameter.

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Another tiny native that has the most hairy leaves.

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I am amazed that the lichen has regenerated from what looked like a dead blob in the grass. A small amount of rain bought it to life.

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This is part of my “front lawn” I don’t have much grass and what is here is native grasses. I rarely cut the grass as there are so many tiny flowers that either grow at ground level or are on small stalks. This moss has gone to seed or is it the flowers?

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Come spring everyone wakes up. Some like to prowl around the garden and “back yard” looking for things to eat. This bloke was looking for my chooks eggs!!!

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One day coming home from town, there was a raucous noise and the sky suddenly was dotted with a huge flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. This year there has seemed to be lots of them around. Sometimes in large flock or in just a few, screeching as they wheel about the sky.

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I spent ages by the side of the road watching the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos argue of the best perch and change trees to find something to eat. Their aerobatics are superb don’t you think?

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I am the boss of this tree and can see for kilometers.

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Ahh….there is nothing as good as a pine cone.

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Heralding in the morning, Kookaburras fill the air with their call. I love the bit of blue on their wings.

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The beautiful call of the Grey Shrike Thrush is such a pleasant change from the usual suspects, Friarbirds, Blue-faced Honeyeaters and Ravens.

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At my besties, the Emerald doves pop in for a quick drink from the bird bath. THe shimmer of green is eye-catching as they move through the bush.

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A rare visitor to my road were these Crimson Rosellas. The bloke up the road put out feed for his horses and a flock of Rosellas dropped in for lunch.

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Their colours are very striking. The red can be seen from a distance s they jumped about among the horses.

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On a walk up the road, I found a Blue-faced Honeyeaters nest. As I was watching it became change over time.

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A keen eye was kept on me before he settled onto the nest.

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The best part was the Rainbow Bee Eaters as they swooped around. I played around with my photo program to see if I could get a different effect.

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Thanks for hanging out with me for a while.

A mixture of many things

So much has happened since my last blog. I am no longer employed and have time to try to sort out my photos and other stuff. I am not able to do all that much as my hips are hurting a bit especially when I bend down. It’s quite amazing to discover how clumsy I am, I seem to drop so many things which leads me into decision-making. Do I leave whatever I have dropped there or do I really need to pick it up!!!

Enough of that and onto some of the wonders in nature I have come across as well as other things that I have thought was a bit special and hope you do too.

The succulent that is growing among the rocks in the garden, possibly dropped there and started to make a home for itself, has flowered. So many tiny flowers that only were around for a couple of weeks but added a drop of colour in the garden.

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The Grevillea, Yamba Gold is flowering for the first time. The rains in July were a life saver for the garden which had a flush of life.

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I gave the nectarine tree a severe trimming and this year it has been covered in blossoms.

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The bees have been visiting the tree. The buzzing, as I walked about, was very loud.

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The Stingless Native Bees have also discovered the tree.

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Both bees decided to visit the same flower at the same time. It looks like a face off doesn’t it?

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I love finding a Praying Mantis slowly swaying as it makes its way around the garden. Just after this photo, it decided to jump onto the camera and wander about. The photos of the Praying Mantis on the lens didn’t come out as good as I thought they would.

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One evening in July, it was rather warm so I had windows open and in flew a fly. The fly just buzzed around me while I was trying to do stuff!!!

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We had a few days away and while we were sitting outside enjoying the late afternoon and the sunset, this cloud caught my eye. I immediately thought it was Micky Mouse. What do you think?

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All of a sudden there was a loud flapping of wings and the Brush Turkeys headed to their roost high in the Norfolk Island Pine.

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The Eastern Spinebill hung around the garden all through the dry period and took over ownership of my favourite Honey Gem Grevillea. They did allow the Silvereyes to enjoy the flowers as well. The Silvereyes dropped in on their way north as they usually do in July.

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The Silvereyes stayed around for a week or so before going on their way. Such a pretty little bird.

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Late one afternoon the light was just amazing. It changed the whole colour of the Honey Gem making the greens so vivid.

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There was a bit of competition at my besties bird bath. The birds have a bit of a bath or a drink.

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Early one morning the Little Wattlebird Olive-backed Oriole (thanks for the ID @carolprobets ) wondered if the water was too cold to have a bath.

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I went onto the verandah and there was a flurry of activity as around 20 Red-browed Finches flew out of a patch of long grass where they were feeding on the seed heads. Some flew into the trees whereas others just popped onto the garden edges to watch what I was doing.

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The palm frond made a good perch to wait until I went away so they could continue with their seed eating.

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The Wrens make a splash of colour as the hop about the garden looking for things to eat.

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Down at the beach I am always on the look out for birds of prey in the sky. This time the White-bellied Sea Eagle Brahminy Kite (thanks for the ID @carolprobets )soared high in the sky, occasionally dropping lower to investigate a possible meal.

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The unseasonal rainfall and warm weather produced so many fungi. The tiny orange fungi were all through the leaf litter.

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These dimpled fungi pushed their way out of the soil in the morning sun.

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I found this silver looking fungi under the tank stand. The red centre looked a lot redder than the photo shows.

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These larger orange fungi were scattered in small clear patches throughout the bush.

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Now come the tale of woe. During the few days I spent away enjoying myself at the resort in Kingscliffe, mayhem was happening at home. I came home to find that all of my chooks had been killed by a dog or perhaps two. I was devastated. There were four dead chooks in the chook house, a few piles of feathers in the bush and one pile of feathers on the road about 60 meters from the chook yard. When I saw those feathers on the road as I drove home, I had a sinking feeling. Speaking to some neighbours, I found out that three properties had some of their chooks killed as well. Apparently there had been a stray dog spotted around the neighbourhood.

Here is my rooster who was giving me the stink-eye for disturbing the foraging among the food scraps I just threw down. The six brown hens had only been here for about three weeks. These were the first hens I had ever purchased and they were just settling into the chook yard routine. One hen had just started to lay as well.

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Sorry to end on such a sad note. I love my chooks and now I am sure the dog has gone, I’ll have to get some more chooks.